Every year you dread spring cleaning. Not because of the work, but because those added steps to get the winter dust and clutter out of the house have caused you some foot pain. You don’t want this to compromise your vacations and summer events.
Now, I recognize that some of you ladies thoroughly enjoy spring cleaning. But for many of us, it’s a chore we’d rather pass on! But spring cleaning isn’t the only warm-weather chore that causes problems. Planting flowers in the garden can be just as much of a problem with all of the bending, twisting, pivoting, and digging we have to do.
If warm weather activities have brought about foot pain, you probably don’t have the right type of shoe on.
Don’t Clean in Bare Feet
First, are you spring cleaning barefooted? That is a big no-no! Many ceramic or hardwood floors are too hard, while your posh carpets with the yummy extra padding that is “great for lying on the floor” is too flexible for walking, much less the pivoting, reaching, bending, etc., you do while cleaning.
The foot needs a firm foundation. Healthy feet can be forgiving, but unhealthy feet, or faulty mechanics or shoes, can wreak havoc on your summer schedule and fun. If your feet have too much motion, you need to find the foundation that’s just right.
How to Choose Your Next Pair of Shoes
Choosing a shoe can be challenging. The shoe can’t be too flexible or the ball of your foot hyper-bends. This means the toes bend up too much while you are moving and you may experience distress or pain on the balls of your feet.
The Flex Point
The amount of bend in your shoe is determined by its flex point. This flex point must be at the right location in order for your foot to provide the amount of flexibility you need. If the shoe is too small, the foot collapses. This collapse worsens as we get older.
Another problem comes from performing too many movements that require your feet to move in shoes that are too short, resulting in faulty foot mechanics. Your feet feel distressed before you even get to enjoy the summer season.
Find Your Flex Point
When your foot hurts, take a shoe into your hands. Hold the heel of the shoe (back of the shoe) in one hand then grasp the toe (front) of the shoe in the other hand. Compress the shoe as if you are simulating walking. See below for an example.
Where does it bend? Place a piece of tape on this area or mark the shoe with a small dot. Now, turn the shoe around so you can see the opposite side of the shoe. Repeat the process.
Put the shoe on your foot and look down as you bend your foot as if you were walking. Does your foot bend where you marked? Or does your foot bend in front or behind the mark?
The flex point of a shoe dictates how the foot functions. If the flex point of your shoe doesn’t match the flex point of your foot, your foot and shoe may fight for control.
Get the Most Out of Summer with a Shoe Specialist
When in doubt visit a shoe specialist and ask them to help you. Your shoe may be too flexible or too firm to work with your unique foot shape, size, and type. Figure it out now, because healthy feet and good shoe fit mean a happier, more active summer!